Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fwd: BREAKING: Proposed coal terminals get area-wide review!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Robin Everett, Sierra Club" <>
Date: Jul 31, 2013 6:14 PM
Subject: BREAKING: Proposed coal terminals get area-wide review!
To: <>

Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

Dear Ryan,

Tell Governor Inslee and the WA Department of Ecology thank you for announcing the broad review of coal export impacts!
No Exports Signs
Send Your Letter

Today the people of Washington State have been heard! The Department of Ecology has announced that it will take a broad look at the impacts of the proposed Cherry Point coal export terminal through their environmental review. 

The efforts you all have put into this campaign over the last two years are paying off in a big way! Big coal was hoping for just a review of the environmental impacts at the coal terminal site(s). This is a huge blow to them and a great victory for those concerned about exporting millions of tons of coal through the Northwest.

Thank Ecology Director Maia Bellon and Governor Jay Inslee for listening to the public and demonstrating tremendous leadership with this announcement.

Topics to be studied in the environmental review include human health impacts from coal dust around the terminal and in communities along the rail line, marine traffic impacts, rail traffic impacts, greenhouse gas emissions from burning the exported coal in Asia, and cumulative impacts from the second proposed terminal in the state -- Millennium Bulk Terminal in Longview, Washington.

The Army Corps of Engineers chose not to listen to the public in its demands for an extensive and cumulative review, but Ecology Director Maia Bellon and Governor Jay Inslee have our back and are making sure the concerns received from over 100,000 people that participated in the public process last year are addressed.

Send a thank you to Ecology and Governor Inslee today and keep the momentum going!

As the review moves ahead for the Cherry Point proposal, scoping begins soon for another coal export proposal in Longview, Washington. Hearings for that proposal will be held across Washington in September and October. We must continue the fight, but take heart -- thanks to you, our efforts are not being ignored!

Thanks for all you do to protect the environment,

Robin Everett
Beyond Coal Campaign
Sierra Club

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Time to Vote!

August 6th Primary!! TIME TO VOTE!!

Your ballot should be in your mail box now or very soon. If it isn't, call or visit the elections desk of the Whatcom County Auditor . Last chance to register (in person only) is July 29th. If you are a registered voter, you can check your status at My Vote

As of July 24th, there are 3,941,949 active voter registrations in the state of WA. Let's make it 4 million soon!  As of  July 24th, 1,285 ballots have already been received in Whatcom County

Let's VOTE!!


July 8Deadline for voter registration, address change and other updates
July 19Start of 18-day voting period (through Election Day). Ballots are mailed out and Accessible Voting Units (AVUs) are available at voting centers.
July 29Deadline for new Washington State voter registration (in person only)
August 6Primary

Endorsements for Your Ballot [From the Whatcom County Democrats]

Endorsements for your Whatcom County Ballot [From Riley Sweeney]

Endorsements for your Progressive Ballot [From FUSE]

Fwd: Endorsements for your Primary ballot [From WA State Democrats]

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jaxon Ravens, WA State Democrats <>
Date: Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 4:05 PM
Subject: Endorsements for your Primary ballot
To: Ryan Ferris <>

Dear Ryan,
The Primary Election is on August 6th, and you should receive your ballot by early next week.
Our endorsements include positions on Initiative 522 and important races for positions in city and county government. While there is no race as high profile as the race for President, the outcome of this election will have a direct impact on your daily life.
Primary Elections typically have low turnout, which is why it is so important that informed Democrats like you vote. We ask that you make your voice heard. Because of the low turnout, your vote will make a critical difference in these races!
If you don't receive your ballot or have any other voting questions, contact your County Auditor.
Thank you for voting!
Jaxon Ravens
Executive Director
Washington State Democrats
Contributions are not tax deductible for federal income tax purposes.
Paid for by Washington State Democratic Central Committee
615 Second Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 - (206) 583-0664 -
Not authorized by any federal candidate or candidate's committee

Saturday, July 20, 2013

NSA Leaks: Part X

 From :

  1. Question: What happens if the NSA has a user in its sights?
  2. Snowden: The target person is completely monitored. An analyst will get a daily report about what has changed in the computer system of the targeted person. There will also be... packages with certain data which the automatic analysis systems have not understood, and so on. The analyst can then decide what he wants to do - the computer of the target person does not belong to them anymore, it then more or less belongs to the U.S. government.

Fwd: FWD - Dethroning Rodney Tom

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Brett H, Fuse supporter" <>
Date: Jul 17, 2013 6:01 AM
Subject: FWD - Dethroning Rodney Tom
To: <>

Dear Friend,

I'm determined to reclaim the state Senate. After watching Rodney Tom and the Republicans block the Reproductive Parity Act, the Dream Act, and funding for transit, it's clear we need new leadership in the Senate.

That's why I chipped in $35 yesterday to Fuse's campaign to defend Sen. Nathan Schlicher and keep ALEC leader Jan Angel out of the Senate.

Winning this race is the first step toward retaking the Senate in 2014, and it's going to take a huge grassroots push to win. More than 250 people – including me – have made a donation, and Fuse is less than $2,000 away from their new $8,000 goal.

Will you join me in chipping in $5.00 right now to support Fuse's communications and organizing campaign to retake the Senate? Click below to add your support:

Yes! I'll chip in $5.00 right now!

You can also read the full email forwarded below for more details.

Thanks for all that you do,

Brett H, Fuse supporter

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Port Commissioner District 1

Both Candidates for Port Commissioner 1 are actively writing about the Port of Bellingham. I encourage both candidates to continue to do so and encourage all readers to pose questions publicly and expect competent and informed answers. You can view Renata Kowalczyk and Dan Robbins commentary on the Port of Bellingham on their Google plus and Facebook pages:

Renata Kowalczyk

Dan Robbins

You can view the minutes of Port Commission meetings stretching back January 2009 here. This is my second post on Port Commissioner Races. In my first post, I have tried to establish why the Port Commissioner positions are so important for the direction of Whatcom County's economy. Critical issues are being decided now that will influence the direction of Whatcom County's economy for generations. Some examples from the June 18 Port Commission meeting include

Always something important going on at a Port Commission meeting these days!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

NSA Leaks : Part IX

The Latest Snowden Revelations:

In this shocking article, Glen Greenwald, Laura Poitras and the rest of the crack reporating team at The Guardian explain the Faustian security deals Microsoft has been forced to cut with the NSA. We can only imagine how analogous policies are applied to the security of their Operating Systems and software.

Birgitta Jonsdottir

In an excellent interview with the Pacifica Radio Network, Iceland parliament member Birgitta Jonsdottir talks about her experiences with Wikileaks, the FBI, the Iraq war, and how United States surveillance policy relates to world peace.  Her article is really worth a read. Ms. Jonsdottir appears to be an exceptional idealist and a courageous woman. The importance of making the correlation between imperialist control structures and the surveillance state can not be underestimated.  The surveillance state IS the control structure. Without it, internal propaganda, suppression of dissent, the formation of public opinion cannot be managed to support continual war. As an example of this in our own state, read carefully this blog post and links.  See also Ms. Jonsdottir's interviews on Democracy Now (1,2) and her journalism at the The Guardian.

An example of social network analysis through meta-data

If you would like to see a graphic demonstration of meta-data analysis of your e-mail, you can surrender access to your meta-data to . I found this a  very informative simulation. If you highlight any one person you immediately see their e-mail linkage. Click on a single individual and a new page appears that is centered on e-mail interactions with that person. Of course, it is hardly a complete picture of all my social contacts or e-mail accounts, but the grouped networks allowed me to easily see the weight of my relationship with other "collaborators" as MIT calls them.  It should be fairly straightforward to understand, I would think, how weighted meta-data such as this would be important to the surveillance state.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fwd: Whatcom Democrats Launch Coordinated Campaign for County Council Election

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Natalie McClendon <>
Date: Mon, Jul 8, 2013 at 9:06 AM
Subject: Whatcom Democrats Launch Coordinated Campaign for County Council Election

CAMPAIGN OFFICE OPEN HOUSE, Thursday, July 11th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm , Main floor of the Herald Building at 1155 North State Street, Bellingham
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
Natalie McClendon
Whatcom Democrats Launch
Coordinated Campaign for County Council
The Whatcom County Democrats is launching a coordinated campaign to elect leaders to the Whatcom County Council who will protect the county's drinking water, ensure the viability of our farm and fishing economy, and work for family-wage jobs for county citizens. The campaign will support incumbents Carl Weimer (District 3) and Ken Mann (District 2), and challengers Barry Buchanan (District 1) and Rud Browne (At-Large).
This election is a priority. The County Council has a responsibility to work with the City of Bellingham to protect the drinking water for half the people in the county. Despite this clear need and legal requirement, the majority on the County Council continues to drag their feet. Without leadership, Lake Whatcom will continue to degrade and water drinkers will pay substantially more in years to come.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 8th is the primary registration online or mail-in deadline!

If you are a new voter, you have until July 8th to register to vote online or by mail. Here is a chart from the Secretary of State for WA:

election dateonline & mail-in deadlinein-person deadline
August 6July 8July 29
November 5October 7October 28

To update your registration (for example if you have moved) look at candidates and ballots, and peruse your voting record, go to My Vote Washington. This is always a good idea, since your voter information is only protected by your name and birth date in WA State. Only a limited number of candidates will be on the primary ballot.  I noticed that the downtown voter drop box was not listed as a drive through box for the primary. I am wondering if this is true...

Fwd: What really happened in Olympia?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Aaron Ostrom, Fuse Washington" <>
Date: Jul 3, 2013 3:10 PM
Subject: What really happened in Olympia?
To: <>

Dear Friend,

It's over. After 153 days and two special sessions, the legislature has finally adjourned for the year. From blocking votes on the Dream Act and the Reproductive Parity Act to rejecting a plan to save transit service, Rodney Tom and the Senate Republicans had a one–word approach to progress this session: "No."

Fuse members lead a canvass in Sen. Rodney Tom's district for a progressive budget. Fuse members lead a canvass in Sen. Rodney Tom's district for a progressive budget.
Despite their best efforts, we did achieve some victories. Thanks in no small part to an amazing outpouring of grassroots support, the legislature closed two important tax loopholes and added greater accountability to the tax system.

But after six months of fighting a Senate now dominated by the far–right wing of the Republican caucus, there's one conclusion that's exceptionally clear: we must retake the Senate, starting this fall.

Here's a brief rundown of the last six months in Olympia and what we need to do now for progressive victories in 2014.

Close Tax Loopholes Canvass Fuse members put up "Close Tax Loopholes" yard signs in the neighborhoods of Sens. Andy Hill and Rodney Tom.
Tax loopholes: Legislators closed two major tax loopholes benefiting the estates of millionaires and large telecommunications companies, saving $245 million for education and essential services. In addition, the final budget includes stronger accountability and transparency measures for new or extended tax loopholes. Fuse members played a big part in achieving both of these victories, sending more than 40,000 messages to legislators this year. It's a staggering outpouring of grassroots pressure that made an impact on these negotiations.

The budget: Aside from closing those two loopholes, Senate Republicans stubbornly refused all new revenue options. As a result, the final budget is held together by a patchwork of one–time transfers, unsustainable gimmicks, and borrowing from construction funding. For instance, the budget devotes some new funding to education, but at the expense of cost–of–living raises for teachers and new school construction. In addition, the final budget created or extended 17 tax loopholes, costing Washington families $15 million.1 This includes a sales tax exemption for clay targets at gun clubs – Sen. Pam Roach's bill – and a tax exemption for mint farmers. This budget is better than the painful all–cuts approach of some previous years, yet it falls short of being sustainable or progressive.

Our Facebook graphic received more than 53,000 views. Our Facebook graphic received more than 53,000 views.
While Senate Republicans said "yes" to new loopholes, they said "no" again and again to important policy bills.

The Washington Dream Act: This legislation would give all students – regardless of citizenship – access to college financial aid.2 The House passed the Dream Act with overwhelming bipartisan support, but Senate Republicans refused to give it a vote.

Reproductive Parity Act: This legislation would ensure access to a full range of reproductive health care options, including abortion. It would ensure that Washington women have the freedom and privacy to make the health care decisions that are right for themselves and their families.3 The House passed the Reproductive Parity Act, but Senate Republicans refused to give it a vote.

Fwd: Edward Snowden: Planet without a visa

"Today, as a subsidiary of Boeing, the latest generation of Narus systems is capable of "deep packet inspection," the ability to distinguish between different planes within the data flow, and examining Internet traffic as it passes through the 10-gigabit-per-second cables at the speed of light. According to former NSA intelligence official William Binney, the NSA has these systems installed at "10 or 20" switches around the country, and they are managed remotely from Fort Meade. Binney says the NSA is challenged with what to do with the 20 terabytes of intercepted data being captured each minute."   from The NSA's cyber-surveillance technology: Infrastructure of a police state (see below)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Socialist Equality Party <>
Date: Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 6:45 AM
Subject: Edward Snowden: Planet without a visa
To: "" <>

World Socialist Web Site

Socialist Equality Party Newsletter

The World Socialist Web Site and Socialist Equality Party are waging a campaign to defend Edward Snowden. For more information and to get involved, click here. For full WSWS coverage, click here.


Edward Snowden: Planet without a visa

3 July 2013
Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor who courageously exposed secret and unconstitutional US spying programs targeting millions of people in the US and around the world, is now unable to find a single government prepared to grant him the democratic right of asylum.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, "Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution." This centuries-old right has been codified in numerous international treaties.
Snowden unquestionably deserves this right. He confronts two espionage charges carrying a possible death sentence for the sole "crime" of exposing the real crimes of systematic spying by the US government against the people of the United States and the world.
His prospects for a fair trial in the US have been irrevocably aborted by the slander campaign of the media and the government, branding him a traitor and spy. The government that seeks his extradition has arrogated to itself the right to summarily execute anyone it deems an enemy of the state, a "right" that it has exercised against at least four American citizens by means of drone missile strikes. As for the media, it has deliberately buried the revelations of wholesale domestic and international spying in order to concentrate on Snowden's alleged "crimes."

Edward Snowden

Monday, July 1, 2013

NSA Leaks : Part VIII

"We must also stress that the task they have is rather difficult, because they must find a solution within the framework of international law. We can't directly say today that such norms exist, or that there's a ready recipe," he said.
Since Putin first acknowledged Snowden's arrival in Moscow, officials have repeatedly noted the absence of a bilateral extradition treaty. Russia has often expressed concern over its citizens held in the US, namely Viktor Bout, a convicted arms trafficker with suspected ties to Kremlin officials. from The Guardian 

Edward Snowden has applied for extradition in Russia.  In one sense, this is an excellent choice. The FSB might be the organization most likely to prevent him from being assassinated dying in a very suspect car explosion fire like journalist Michael Hastings. On the other hand, Russia might just swap him for Viktor Bout.  The latest Snowden leak implicates the U.S. in bugging our allies. And then there are the new Prsim slides from the Washington Post. Are you one of the "117,675 active surveillance targets in PRISM's counterterrorism database?" The "Special Source Operations" providers include Gmail, Facebook, MSN, Hotmail, Yahoo,Google, Apple, Skype, paltalk, AOL, Youtube... More from The Washington Post ...

Michael Hastings books and articles are not to be missed. Hastings was a millennial war reporter who lost his fiance in Baghdad to a car bomb.  There was something old school about his writing; something that reminded me of London or Steinbeck. His narrative has few wasted words, a juiced 'reality speak', his biases and doubts pushed right up through his syntax so you knew who he was and what he was thinking as he told his story. I especially liked his Rolling Stone article on how the U.S. Army deployed psyops on visiting U.S. elected representatives.  His work "The Operators" is a seminal tale of the 21st century American military-industrial complex gone nuts.   In effect, his narrative was the aggrieved, no bullshit voice of millennials and no one who has lived through the last 12 traumatic years in America should be surprised to find that Hasting's generation has zero tolerance for spin or sympathy for power.  Hastings, whose engine was found 100 feet from his car and whose body was so badly burned it was difficult to identify, deserves a white house petition asking for a full investigation into his death. As far as I am concerned, we now have evidence that the 21st century American surveillance state just doesn't just force the best and the brightest moralists to Russia;  it also burns them to death.